About Me

Decision-making is becoming increasingly complex as data expands and resources decrease. My research centers on using prescriptive (integer optimization) and predictive (machine learning) analytics, together with algorithms, to effectively allocate scarce resources. My research team and I employ mathematical modeling and the development of methods and tools to benefit vulnerable and marginalized individuals, groups, and populations.

The convergence of novel analytical technologies and open-source software can create solutions that improve quality of life, increase fairness, restore dignity, and make significant societal impact. Active research areas include analytics to benefit refugees and asylum seekers, survivors of human trafficking, and foster care. My research is supported by the National Science Foundation (Operations Engineering) grants CMMI-1825348, CMMI-1841893, CMMI-1935602, the Ragnar Söderberg Foundation, and others.

My research deeply influences students. Students who work with me learn the tools and techniques to develop innovative models and algorithms to tackle challenging real-world problems with significant societal impact. Through research involvement and related projects, students make contributions that expand the current boundaries of knowledge. Many earn MS and PhD degrees and go on to have productive and influential careers. If you are interested in learning more, see my CV, or email me.

I am Associate Professor of Operations and Industrial Engineering at WPI, and hold a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh. I publish in journals such as Operations Research, INFORMS Journal on Computing, European Journal of Operational Research, IISE Transactions, Decision Support Systems, Discrete Optimization, IJCAI, Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Journal of Cleaner Production, Journal of Combinatorial Optimization, Health Systems, and Bioinformatics.


Recent Accomplishments

Annie™ MOORE Video
Published on February 20, 2020

Here is a short video explaining the highlights of our refugee resettlement software tool Annie™ MOORE. More info at our refugees.ai website.

Watch here!

Coverage in Forbes Magazine
January 16, 2020

Forbes Magazine recently featured an article with a vignette on joint work with terrific colleagues Alex Teytelboym, Alessandro Martinello, Tommy Andersson, and WPI Data Science PhD student Narges Ahani on using analytics to improve refugee resettlement. We appreciate the attention to detail, as they note that our matching software Annie™ MOORE recommends match outcomes, that can then be fine-tuned by resettlement decision-makers. The associated technical report can be found at this link. We are grateful to the National Science Foundation (NSF), especially the Operations Engineering program, for their support of this research.

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PhD Student Shima Azizi Passes Qualifying Exam!
Published on December 13, 2019

Good news: PhD student Shima Azizi passed her qualifier this week! We are all very proud of her hard work on the topic of improving efficiency in community paramedicine. I'm grateful for both committee members, Prof. Michael Ginzberg and Prof. Sharon Johnson (pictured), as well as Prof. Brent Faber and Prof. Renata Konrad, for their support.

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OR Seminar: Placement Optimization in Refugee Resettlement with Andrew C. Trapp
Published on November 27, 2019

I had the privilege of visiting the University of Toronto and speaking in their Operations Research Seminar on refugee resettlement research, joint with colleagues Narges Ahani, Tommy Andersson, Paul Gölz, Alessandro Martinello, Ariel Procaccia, and Alex Teytelboym. Thanks to Tim Chan for the invitation!

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Tool to Recommend Improvements to US Asylum Process
Published on November 27, 2019

National Public Radio (90.9 WBUR) had a short feature on my research on using predictive analytics, queueing theory and optimization to improve the asylum process at the US Southern border.


Fabulous Talk on Refugee Resettlement Optimization in Our UMass Amherst INFORMS Speaker Series
Published on September 30, 2019

Had the opportunity to present on placement optimization in refugee resettlement at the INFORMS Speaker Series of the Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts Amherst. This is joint work with Alex Teytelboym, Alessandro Martinello, Tommy Andersson, and Narges Ahani.

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Lightning Talk at WPI Arts & Sciences Week 2019
Published on September 16, 2019

Here is a short video clip of my lightning talk presentation for the "Global Impact: The Latin American Experience" series at WPI's 2019 Arts & Sciences Week. My talk was entitled: Developing Data-Informed Holding and Judicial Capacity Levels for Asylum Seekers at the Southern Border.

Watch here!

Andrew Trapp: Conversation with the President
Published on September 13, 2019

Had the privilege of speaking with Laurie Leshin, President of WPI, about the work of my research team and I in improving refugee resettlement matching, as well as matching WPI students to project centers.

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ISN2: Disrupting Human Trafficking via Needs Matching and Capacity Expansion
Jan. 2020 through Dec. 2022

R. A. Konrad (PI), A. C. Trapp (co-PI), M. Dank (co-PI), K. Maass (co-PI), NSF (Operations Engineering) award "ISN2: Disrupting Human Trafficking via Needs Matching and Capacity Expansion," Research award CMMI-1935602

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Optimizing Placement of Residential Shelters for Human Trafficking Survivors
Available online August 3, 2019

K. Maass, A. C. Trapp, R. A. Konrad, "Optimizing Placement of Residential Shelters for Human Trafficking Survivors" accepted for publication, Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, 2019.

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Closing the Loop: Forging High-Quality Agile Virtual Enterprises in a Reverse Supply Chain via Solution Portfolios
2019

A. C. Trapp, R. A. Konrad, J. Sarkis, A. Z. Zeng, "Closing the Loop: Forging High-Quality Agile Virtual Enterprises in a Reverse Supply Chain via Solution Portfolios," accepted for publication, Journal of the Operational Research Society, 2019.

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Matching Problems in Refugee Resettlement
Aug. 2019 through Aug. 2020

A. C. Trapp, NSF (Operations Engineering) supplement award to "Matching Problems in Refugee Resettlement," Research award CMMI-1825348: "Extension of Immigration Study to Operational Challenges at the United States Southern Border,"

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Placement Optimization in Refugee Resettlement
2019

A. C. Trapp, A. Teytelboym, A. Martinello, T. Andersson, N. Ahani, "Placement Optimization in Refugee Resettlement," Technical Report, 2019.

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A Global Optimization Algorithm for Sparse Mixed Membership Matrix Factorization
First online July 09, 2019

F. Zhang, C. Wang, A. C. Trapp, P. Flaherty, A Global Optimization Algorithm for Sparse Mixed Membership Matrix Factorization, New Advances in Statistics and Data Science, ICSA Book Series in Statistics, Springer, pp. 129-156, 2019.

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How Technology Could Revolutionize Refugee Resettlement
April 26, 2019

The Atlantic covered our research on using integer optimization and machine learning to improve refugee resettlement

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EAGER: ISN: A Data Analytic Approach to Understanding Human Trafficking Networks
Aug. 2018 through Aug. 2019

R. A. Konrad (PI), A. C. Trapp (co-PI), M. Dank (co-PI), K. Maass (co-PI), NSF (Operations Engineering) award "EAGER: ISN: A Data Analytic Approach to Understanding Human Trafficking Networks," Research award CMMI-1841893

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Enriching Solutions to Combinatorial Problems via Solution Engineering
2019

T. Petit, A. C. Trapp, "Enriching Solutions to Combinatorial Problems via Solution Engineering" published online, INFORMS Journal on Computing, 2019

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Identifying Fixations in Gaze Data via Inner-Density and Optimization
Published on April 26, 2019

A. C. Trapp, W. Liu, S. Djamasbi, "Identifying Fixations in Gaze Data via Inner-Density and Optimization" published online, INFORMS Journal on Computing, 2019.

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Detecting Task Demand via an Eye Tracking Machine Learning System
Published on Decision Support Systems Volume 116,January 2019, Pages 91-101

M. Shojaiezadeh, S. Djamasbi, R. Paffenroth, A. C.Trapp, "Detecting Task Demand via an Eye Tracking Machine Learning System" Decision Support Systems, Vol. 116, pp. 91-101, 2019.

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Refugee Resettlement via Machine Learning and Integer Optimization
Keynote Presentation and Paper for OR60 Annual Conference, Lancaster, UK, 2018

A. C. Trapp, A. Teytelboym, N. Ahani, T. Andersson, "Refugee Resettlement via Machine Learning and Integer Optimization," Keynote Presentation and Paper for OR60 Annual Conference, Lancaster, UK, 2018.

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Overcoming human trafficking via operations research and analytics: Opportunities for methods, models, and applications
European Journal of Operational Research Volume 259, Issue 2, 1 June 2017, Pages 733-745

R. A. Konrad, A. C. Trapp, T. Palmbach, J. S. Blom, "Overcoming Human Trafficking via Operations Research and Analytics: Opportunities for Methods, Models, and Applications," European Journal of Operational Research, Vol. 259 (2), pp. 733-745, 2017.

Derivative works of the above article include:
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Created By: Minkun Liu